This paper outlines ACCA’s key messages on shareholders rights in Europe – part of ACCA’s campaign to improve corporate governance worldwide. It sets out how shareholder rights fit into the wider governance agenda and details how the principles of transparency, accountability and long termism can deliver change.
ACCA believes that recent global crises in the financial sector as well as the LIBOR and Credit Suisse scandals have dented public trust in financial institutions and large corporations. To restore this trust policymakers need to work to strengthen corporate governance worldwide.
The rights and stewardship responsibilities of shareholders have been increasingly under the spotlight and form an important facet of the governance agenda. Shareholders remain the ultimate overseers of effective governance and protecting their rights is a key aspect of this.
In April 2014 the European Commission presented a proposal to the European Parliament and Council for the revision of the existing Shareholder Rights Directive (Directive 2007/36/EC). The proposal aims to tackle corporate governance shortcomings relating to listed companies as exposed by recent financial crises. ACCA broadly welcomes the European Commission’s proposal as a mechanism for strengthening shareholder rights.